Cutflower Nomenclature

Scientific/Botanical Name:

Genus: Schlumbergera



English Name:


Common Name:

Flor de Maio (May flower), Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, Crab Cactus and Holiday Cactus

Botanical Family:

Name in Latin: Cactaceae

Name in English: The Cactus Family

The Plant

Origin: coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil

Growth Habit: Cacti .Most species of Schlumbergera have stems which resemble leaf-like pads joined one to the other

Flower: flowers which appear from areoles at the joints and tips of the stems-white, pink, yellow, orange, red or purple. Ubular flowers with abundant nectar, and colours towards the red end of the spectrum.

Blooming Period: November- February

Leaf: leafless, the green stems acting as photosynthetic organs, stems are composed of segments


Ideal for hanging basket, used as December Holiday plant

Care and Handling

Soil: Never use ordinary potting compost or garden soil, there are general purpose cactus mixes available.

Amount of water: Drench the soil and let it become barely moist between waterings.

Nutrition: Feed every two weeks spring through fall with a lime free water soluble fertilizer. Do not fertilize newly potted plants for at least two months.

Special handling: Does best in bright indirect sunlight coming from the South/East/West

Special feature/remarks:

Keep cool in the winter. Requires good ventilation be careful not to over-water. Put a layer of small gravel at the bottom of the pot and also one inch on the top of the soil to prevent stem rot.